Monday, March 14, 2016

Charlie Sheen's public disclosure, his "doctor" and all the media coverage: Taking advantage of the ignorant OR helping #FightHIVStigma ?


The article above I really haven't even read as I can only read so much on the topic and still have a life but in forums and social media the topic does come up often lately. My take at first was very much for Charlie Sheen's disclosure and I still feel the same on that. I try to sit back on most issues and listen to everyone's else's comments just like political and religious topics I tend to agree with both sides at times so rather than sound hypocritical changing my stance I wait till I have a firm decision as often as I can hold out. Due to statistics showing a rise in testing and I see the spike in general population about HIV I think it's a good thing. I've heard his "tragic" story and I use that term loosely not because I have no compassion but compared to mine even it's not so bad. Being betrayed by friends sucks. We all go through this whether money is involved or not it feels the same. Like Shit. And albeit brave, try walking into a bar in 2001 with a bunch of judging gays looking at you and then turning away when you look back and then watch people laugh and wonder if they are laughing at you... at times they are. Or walking into work and when asked why your sick again you tell them your immune compromised and of course you already know they assume your + just because your gay, it's 2001 and the straight community is ignorant, so you get questioned with terrified eyes about how you can contract it, who gave it to you, etc etc etc. Not "I'm so sorry, how is your family handling it?" or "I'm sorry you don't have too long to live, have you tried getting social security, I know people like you can." blah blah. Why tell them although your doc says 5-7 years you feel in your heart your gonna live to old age? They won't believe you and think it's your attempt to be strong and not get pity. People will think whatever they think regardless of your response or statements on the topic. Only with everyone together can we start a gradual change in a positive direction. Over the last few years while trying to disclose even more by not just being honest or not hiding but looking for any reason to disclose as to promote awareness, I have heard so many stories and honestly most are like mine or much worse. By much worse I mean... yes the person who gave to me knew he had it but at least he was not a long term partner or someone who I was living with. That little difference alone is a major difference to me. Or a female who's completely unaware that her partner is Bi and doing things behind her back and now has to face the fact that she cannot have children like the average female. Although it's getting better both in science and in general thinking... it's harder for women plain and simple. Women are built mentally to yearn for kids. And I have friends in their 30's with not kids. I've seen the way they are questioned constantly with an almost sad, pity type of questioning, as if it's wrong or something must be wrong with them. No matter what the sad story gays can at least deal with gays, judging as they are and rejecting as everyone else if your a gay man your going to face less and go to any site and you'll see how targeted this issue is to just us gay men. I was on a Canadian government site yesterday in fact and it was completely geared and written for gays even offering gay chat rooms and support not one place could I find where to click if I was a female. Sad. So if by being scared of being outed Charlie Sheen had to pay some $$ for others to hush and when asked how much he states "enough to effect my future." I'm sorry LOL, it pales in comparison. BUT, as for him as a person I could give two shits if he did or does drugs. So many do and I have taken advantage of that scene all too often to even begin to judge. He also seems generally compassionate about disclosing and even if its for personal gain more than the help of others we all do this in life, it's human nature. The fact still remains, my goal is disclosure, disclosure, disclosure in an effort to educate and thereby make a global effect on this epidemic and I believe I have and I will continue to do so.. for my own benefit just as much as anyone else's. It feels good to do good. The fact also stands that his disclosure has not harmed anything but created a spike in testing... it takes many of us advocates (like 100's) to do what he does with one interview. I remind myself that I am doing this for a bigger cause not personal gain so when I see Charlie and Danny P (supposedly making profit off his disclosure) I don't get butt hurt. I'd do the same thing in their position. Unfortunately I will have to work!! But, I'll do my best to keep smiling anyhow. It's all we can do. There is always someone out there who has it worse. Always. Sounds mean but this always makes me feel better. As long as my life is just kinda fucked up compared to some.. i'm good with that!

#HIVTruth #FightStigma #SpeakOutHIV #HIV #HIVStigma #AIDS